Faces of Research: Meet Jud Ready

Jud Ready

The Nano Group at the Georgia Tech Research Institute develops novel applications for carbon nanotubes and graphene based on their highly distinct electrical and physical properties. This group has developed thriving partnerships both in industry and government that led to research across a variety of ranging from functional fabrics and 2D materials to photovoltaics and supercapacitors.

This installment of the Faces of Research Q&A series is with Jud Ready, who leads the Nano group, is deputy director of innovation initiatives at Georgia Tech's Institute for Materials (IMat), and is an adjunct professor in the School of Materials Science & Engineering.

What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am a materials scientist. I applied for admission to Georgia Tech in 1989 for aerospace engineering. I was declined admission to that major, but was instead admitted to Tech as a "UEC" (undecided engineering candidate). A then-requirement of that "major" was to take three one-hour courses in three different majors during your freshman year to help you decide by your sophomore year what you wanted to do with your life. The three I chose were:  civil engineering (CE), materials science engineering (MSE), and electrical engineering (EE). After AE, MSE most resonated with my interests of becoming an astronaut.  Microgravity materials science was my interest at the time, but my interests evolved towards materials used in electronics, and ultimately my doctorate was on copper metallurgy (corrosion of printed wiring boards).

What makes Georgia Tech research institutes unique?
The "embedded" connection to the academic side of Georgia Tech gives us an unfair advantage over our competitors by having so many innovative academic resources (people, students, labs, etc.) right at our fingertips.  

What impact is your research having on the world?
We are in the final stages of integrating a spacecraft that will map the water-ice resources on the moon: gtri.gatech.edu/newsroom/lunar-flashlight. We expect it to launch Dec. 27, 2022.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
I am a former Boy Scout and current scout leader. I enjoy camping, volunteerism, and community service. I am also a youth-league sports coach for my children and am now — after three kids — in my 13th season overall! Basketball is my favorite sport; I love to dribble the ball up and down the court. I am also an enthusiastic supporter of Georgia Tech athletics, and am an instrument-rated airplane and helicopter pilot.